We are taking in the sights along Playa El Agua (The Water Beach) in Venezuela that houses a spectacular three-mile stretch of white sands peppered with shady palm trees.
Venezuela's most famous beach, the Playa El Agua boasts plenty of fun things to do including para-sailing and, for those extreme types, bungee jumping. Venezuela is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Amaloa Bonvecchio.
Bonvecchio's story is one of hardship and triumph, courage and self-realization.
As a child, Bonvecchio possessed an uncanny skill for clothing design and she made clothes for her friends and sisters. She later studied fashion design at Las Mercedes Design Institute in Caracas, Venezuela.
Although she pursued a career in fashion design, something did not feel quite right about the career move. During this same period, she was a new mother going through a difficult divorce.
In 1995, she decided to take her year old daughter and leave Venezuela for Miami, Florida. It was in Miami that she realized her appreciation for art and nature was better suited for jewelry design.
As she experimented with different types of gemstones, and textures she also realized how much she loved working with the raw beauty of semi-precious stones and marrying evocative symbolism with design.
Her designer jewelry collections are created to accentuate very different types of women: those with a "bold sense of style;" the casual, free-spiri; and women who possess an elusive yet spontaneous wild streak.
Bonvecchio strings together an array of beads and semi-precious stones and incorporates the quiet, uplifting energy of beautiful sterling silver charms. The most prevalent charm is the fish, which represents good fortune and prosperity.
The moon, which represents intuition and feminine energy, is paired with the fish in many of her pieces. There is also the confident, cautionary energy of reptile skins, tusks, and horns.
Bonvecchio's determined spirit matches the vitality of her designs; as she encourages others to continue pursuing their passion no matter the obstacles.
Just this year, she was the recipient of the Tiffany Jewelry Design Award at Miami Fashion Week.
For more on Bonvecchio, be sure to watch Mary Elizabeth Yoder's--of TheACY.org--moving interview with the designer during Miami Fashion Week 2009.
Photo 1 (top right): Infinity Necklace with Sterling Silver Charms
Photo 2 (center): Gold-Plate and Bone Hand Carved Dragon Heart Ring
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sun Orbit Cuff Bracelet